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The Adventures of Margery Allingham Paperback – 2 Mar 2009
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The Adventures of Margery Allingham
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Top Customer Reviews
Seriously, though, this is an excellent biography that explores Margery Allingham's life as both a woman and a writer.
One of the main themes of the book is the tension between writing as art and writing as necessity. Jones draws out those aspects of Allingham's background and personality that drove her to write as an act of creativity, coming to regard her books as her children. At the same time, she was a professional who wrote in order to earn a living, taking her from the world of the penny dreadful and the first women's magazines to international fame as a queen of crime and guest appearances on Woman's Hour.
As a woman, Margery Allingham lived a complicated and often chaotic life split between the London of commercial publishing and the large house in rural Essex, which she and her husband, Pip, could never quite afford. In addition to visitors, the country house was also home for a variety of friends, family, inherited servants and miscellaneous dogs and horses.
As a newcomer to Allingham, I watched the BBC's dramatisation of Campion alongside reading "The Adventures of Margery Allingham" and was able to appreciate the way in which she had woven material from her life and experiences into her fiction.
A fascinating insight into the life of a fascinating, talented and slightly eccentric lady.
The title is a little misleading, since Allingham's adventures are `mental and moral', and mainly on paper, channeled through her hero Albert Campion in the groundbreaking thrillers she wrote through four decades. I read her books when I was in my twenties and liked them more than Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers - there was always an element of humour, clowning, with an undertow of morality. They reminded me a little of the old Mystery plays - a mix of buffoonery and serious discussion of Right and Wrong, the one highlighting the other. Albert Campion - the mysterious, aristocratic figure at the centre of the plot, is both the buffoon and the moral compass of the novel.
I was always interested to know more about the author who wrote the novels, but somehow missed the publication of Julia's book first time out (where was I?) Fortunately I've now managed to rectify that omission. Reading this biography of Margery Allingham has illuminated the novels for me in just the way I would have hoped.
I'd already read about Margery's disfunctional, workaholic, journalistic family in Julia's new book `...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An extremely thorough, well researched and well written biography of a great writer.Published 23 months ago by Meredith Whitford
Margery Allingham is one of my favourite mystery writers, but I knew very little about her and had no idea she had such a difficult life. An excellent biography.Published on 11 Sept. 2013 by ZOWEECAT
This book is a superb edition of a fascinating Biography. Thank you.
Christine Draycott, suffolk.